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Vertical Constructions

September 12, 2012

Inception–The initial phase

I have always been fascinated by the transitory state of enigma which I am thrown into, when I ascend a subway which suddenly opens out to the contrasting extraterranean landscape, especially in New York city. The desire to regenerate a similar experience in collaboration with an understanding of Kenneth Frampton’s cosmological interpretations of Gotfreid Semper’s theories of the stereotomic and tectonic, formed the mold in which the initial ideas for the project were cast in the form of an artifact. Stepping up in scale, the second phase of the studio was an extension of the first one itself but with the inclusion of a program. The intent of the tectonic portion—in perspective—itself framing the view of the sky formed the core of the concept here. The desire for a dissolution of the body of the tower is manifest in the cladding system. The view of the sky from the ground and above were guiding parameters for both these phases of the project.

Final tower at Griffis Sculpture Park

Encompassing some of the ideas from the first two projects, was the third tower for which I collaborated with two other students. The process involved was a major source of learning for the progressive translation of the first sketch—through the minutest detail in the execution—into the final product, which falls somewhere between the definition of a sculpture and a habitable built form. Custom designed and assembled formwork, custom sized cladding studs and structural components, as well as the necessary adjustments for compliance with the requirements of various authorities, did amplify the time and effort required. Merging the ideas of the three team members, the tower attempts to portray the concept of gradation and pixelation; the details such as the bottom-top attenuation in the size of the grooves in the stereotomic base, mirrored by an amplification of spacing between the tectonic components, are devised to articulate these intentions. Collectively we performed the tasks of the architect, the contractor, the structural engineer as well as all the site workers.


Transcending the studio walls:

This design-build installation maintained its presence beyond the studio review as a part of  The Griffis Sculpture Park for more than a year. It  found mention at :

University at Buffalo website

e-architect website

The Griffis Sculpture Park website

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